Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Native Plants

I have two upcoming yard projects to work on. Well, three really, but one is the deck and therefore an "outside" project, not garden related. But more on that later.

The first project is pretty simple.  Pruning the sword ferns. I've read several articles about it and asked around to see if people actually do this. Some people say it's stupid because sword ferns are native and don't get pruned in the wild, so they forgo the snippers. Others say that they selectively prune out the brown stalks, but don't do more than that. However, I've found a few places online that suggest cutting off the whole dang plant just above ground level. Ciscoe Morris says to do it so you can watch the new fiddleheads unfurl. Other experts say to do it to keep the size of the fern in control. The Washington Native Plant Society says to each his own. I plan on hacking away at a couple of mine since I have maybe 10+ ferns throughout the yard. I'll chop off a couple of the big ones and selectively prune one or two. I have at least one fern I can think of that is on the petite side, so I will probably leave that one alone this year. I just missed the 60 degree weather to do this in, so I get to look forward to 50 and rainy this weekend. Yay.

The second project is WAY more exciting. We have been talking about how stupid is is to mow our front "lawn". It slopes towards the street so it's not that easy to mow, plus it's mostly moss and there isn't really any satisfaction when you finish because you can't really see a mowed swath. The few sparse blades of grass are shorter, but it's such a let down. Almost the entire grassy area is inside the drip line for the doug firs, so it's super shady and relatively dry in the summertime. Hence the moss.

We've been talking about pulling up the grass and moss and planting the area with native plants, but I haven't been inspired to act on it. Mostly due to other projects being more important. But now. Oh, but now.

I was dreaming of spring last week and researching my veggie seeds when I got distracted by flower seeds. Then to perennial flower seeds. Then to native perennials flowers. Somehow through all that I ended up at the King County Conservation District native plant sale. It blew my socks off. SO CHEAP. MUCH PLANTS. WOW.

Then I found the Snohomish County sale. I basically just opened my wallet and let them clean me out. Except they didn't need to clean me out. I can plant the ivy patch, the moss patch, and have some left over for $100. And that's INCLUDING purchasing a rain barrel! Mind blown.

5 Western Columbine

5 Purple Coneflower

3 Sword Fern

2 Stonecrop

4 Evergreen Huckleberry

2 Pacific Rhodedendrons

5 Red Flowering Currant

And 1 rain barrel.

I have a feeling that if they are selling stuff day of, I may end up buying some kinnikinnik as a ground cover between plants, but that depends on how full my car is. Just the plants, no problem, but including the barrel, too.... Yeah, they are getting a lot of my money this year.

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